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  1. #1

    Default Baxter State Park, Jensen Bissell, the ATC, and Whiteblaze.

    "The Onetime Forester Defending the Eastís Last Great Wilderness"
    "Jensen Bissell manages Maineís Baxter State Park, 210,000 acres of the most dramatic peaks, prettiest ponds, and finest trails east of the Rockies. Lately, he spends a lot of his time trying to keep people out of it.
    (Or does he?)"

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Bangor, Maine


    Good read. There is a lot of good info in there.

    Baxter "State Park" does not owe anybody anything, including myself.

    -With grattitude,

    Mainer, A.T. thru hiker, Dog Lover, Fisherman, American

  3. #3


    Thanks for sharing. Really enjoyed the article.

  4. #4


    The author cherry picked his quotes. It's not as one-sided as he made it out to be. Some people agreed with Bissell. Some of the quotes are from different threads, for instance, the reporter's do gooders quote was made by Last Call in reference to the national monument. The reporter makes it sound like it was in reference to the Jurek-FB issue. He didn't fully quote Last Call either or even provide a username. Later, when the reporter does talk about the national monument, he doesn't fully quote Offshore
    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore
    Couldn't agree more. My initial reaction on reading this was to wonder if anyone from KWWNM even asked Bissell for his input, particularly at a level of detail that seems odd for an initial welcome letter. This letter read like meeting minutes which makes me think its not-so-subtle posturing and was meant more for public consumption than for KWWNM's benefit. A second reading left me with the impression that this is like buying a house and having the neighbor come over and make unsolicited "suggestions" for what color to paint the house, what kind of landscaping to install, and whom to invite over.+1 My take as well.
    And Offshore was responding to a post by Starchild in this thread.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

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  5. #5
    GA-ME 2011
    Join Date
    Baltimore, MD


    The summer issue of ATC's Journeys magazine has an article on Baxter SP. If I recall the trail was welcomed by P. Baxter and he had a part in bringing the terminus to Katahdin. That's a side of the story I had never heard before.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    The summer issue of ATC's Journeys magazine has an article on Baxter SP. If I recall the trail was welcomed by P. Baxter and he had a part in bringing the terminus to Katahdin. That's a side of the story I had never heard before.
    My interpretation of that same article is that the relationship between the ATC (I.E. Avery) and Governor Baxter was far more complex ranging from collaboration to non cooperation. The author of the ATC story admitted that the effort was hampered by the loss of much of Baxter's correspondence with the park was lost due to a fire while Avery's rather copious correspondence was readily available. My speculation was in the early days when Baxter was unsuccessfully trying to get the state to fund the park concept that he was willing to work with anyone to advocate for use of the region and welcomed the AT effort. The AMC also was a key participant in the early years of the area and arguably they had more impact to the park than the ATC did. As the years went by and Baxter was rejected in his attempts to get the state to create a park in the area, he switched to his concept of his buying it and gifting it to the state with the Deeds of Trust in place to prevent the state from changing his intents after he had gifted it. Once he got on that track he was quite diligent in assuring that there were no long term claims or rights by any other parties on any of the lands he bought to the extent that he would buy out squatters living on parcels so there may not be any future potential claims. He made it very clear via the Deeds of Trust and the administrative setup of the BSP commission that the park would always remain independent and in line with his wishes. The state accepted this deal and his intent multiple times over multiple legislatures, in return they got BSP.

    I think it boils down to that BSP staff and the commission is doing what Baxter intended which is retain control over the park and stop attempts at other entities trying to establish rights where rights don't exist. They did this long ago with the Nesowadnehunk gate closure and had to do this after the fact with the IAT while they have acted proactively with the ATC and KWW to establish that they are ultimately in control of what does and will go on in the park in the future. Contrary to popular belief, the letter to Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument (previously Maine Woods National Park ) didn't come out of the blue, there were many references in the press and the region where various supporters of MWNP expressed the belief that the park would eventually embrace the national park and allow access direct access from KWW to BSP. I expect Lucas St Clair realized it was a potential landmine and this was not included in any official MWNP PR but he sure didn't discourage outside speculation.

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